Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Larry Van Aalst talks to Jean Arnold Sessions & Dennis Martin

 Jean Arnold Sessions - Executive Director, The Sonoma County Vintners Association 

When it came time to select the New Executive Director of The Sonoma County Vintners Association, Jean was the clear choice. Accepting the position after a unanimous vote by the Directors, there is no question that the Association is in the best possible hands. We talk about
what it takes to run a very influential organization in the California Wine Country, and the challenge of hitting the ground running with the Wine Country Weekend coming up for Labor Day.

 Dennis Martin - Former Chief Winemaker, Fetzer Vineyards 

After taking Fetzer Vineyards to being a world class winery as the Chief Winemaker, Dennis retired this year. Everyone in the industry knows what a great Winemaker, and exceptional guy Fetzer lost. Being a Wine Judge, and traveling, Dennis is as always very involved in the Northern California wine game. We talk about the changes the past few years have brought, and what he thinks the direction will be in the future.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Larry Van Aalst talks with Jude Affronti & Timo Marshall

 Jude Affronti - Executive Chef, FountainGrove Inn 

New to The Steakhouse at Equus, Jude is the Executive Chef. The FountainGrove Inn took a different direction and re branded Equus Restaurant with a new identity, and as an upscale Wine Country Steakhouse, Jude fits right in. We learn about what it takes to run one of Sonoma County's most recognized food and beverage spots, and at the same time deal with the big changes.

 Timo Marshall - Co-Founder, Spirit Works Distillery

One of the big success stories in the Sonoma Wine Country is Spirit Works in Sebastopol. Located in the trendy Barlow Center, Spirit works is getting rave reviews from all who have tried the vodka, gin, and whiskey. Timo the owner and distiller has a book worthy story about how he found his dream in Northern California, and tells us about the ins and outs of making world class spirits.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Larry Van Aalst talks to Ray Johnson & George Christie

 Ray Johnson - Dean of the Wine Business Institute, Sonoma State University
Not only is Ray Dean of the Wine Business School at Sonoma State University, Ray is also an author, world traveler, and one of the Directors of The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. We talk about the recent ground break for the new Wine Spectator Learning Center at Sonoma State, and what it means to the Wine Industry in California.

George Christie -  CEO, Wine Industry Network

George has his finger on the pulse of all things wine. George was recently at the celebration for the Learning Center at Sonoma State, and will give an industry perspective of what we can expect in the coming years.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Larry Van Aalst talks to James Caudill & Ben Cane

 James Caudill - Director, Public Relations & Hospitality, The Hess Collection Winery
A long time pro in the wine business, Jim has been with the big names, Jackson Family, Brown Forman, The Hess Collection and many more. We talk about a veterans perspective of the new trends in the industry and what he thinks is in store in the coming years & The new association with
Westwood Anadell Gap Vineyard will be announced.

Ben Cane - Head Winemaker, Westwood Wines
Originally from Australia, Ben is the Winemaker at Westwood Vineyards in Sonoma County. With only a few vintages released, Westwood hit it out of the park winning the sweepstakes award at The North Coast Wine Challenge last month. The best of the best was the Westwood Pinot Noir and it won the award by the largest margin in the history of the competition.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Larry Van Aalst talks with Steve Falk & Daryl Groom

 Steve Falk - Chief Executive Officer, Sonoma Media 

Steve is the Publisher of The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Northern California's most important Wine Country newspaper. With a background on the East Coast and on the set up team for USA Today, Steve came to the San Francisco Bay Area and was President of The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, before moving to being publisher of the San Francisco Chronicle. Being the visionary he is, the Chronicle sponsored what has become The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the largest competition of American wines in the world. Four yeas ago the idea for The Best of the Best Wine Competition came to light. The North Coast Wine Challenge came into being, and now has a reputation for having the very best wines, judges, and is thought of as the Best of the Best. We talk about the recent competition, and the Public Tasting coming up.

 Daryl Groom - Owner/Winemaker, Groom Wines

After making his mark on Australian wines, Daryl came to California and took the position as Winemaker at Geyser Peak Winery. Awarded Winemaker of the Year by a number of Journals and organizations, Daryl started Groom Wines in Australia, and was nicknamed The Flying Winemaker.
As he travels and consults, he has also taken the position of Head Judge for The North Coast Wine Challenge. Many years as a Judge, and tasting some of the best wine made on earth gives him the perspective to be part of The Best of the Best. We talk about the Competition, and the Colby Red project he partners with his son.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Larry Van Aalst talks with Jesse Katz

Jesse Katz - Founder and Winemaker, Devil Proof Vineyard

Jesse comes to his new venture with some impressive credentials. Having worked for some impressive properties, and being part of a family known world wide for it's involvement in the wine/vineyard industry, The new Devil Proof  wines are what he says are the best he has ever done. We talk about starting a big venture at such a young age, and the costs and benefits of being one of the new wave of Winemakers.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Larry Van Aalst talks to Dan Berger

 Dan Berger - Wine Columnist, Vintage Experiences 

Respected Wine Author, Judge, and the Director of the new Dan Berger Wine Competition, Dan talks to us about what's the newest in the world of wine. We touch on the Dr. Richard Peterson book, Winemaker and get a look at what the 2016 vintage may be like.

Also on the show, A recap of The North Coast Wine Challenge, perhaps the Best of the Best Wine Competition in California. The event, put on by the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.